Florida House Bill 1557

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Florida House Bill 1557, officially titled Parental Rights in Education, is a bill which was passed by both chambers of the Florida Legislature (69-47 in the Florida House of Representatives, and 22-17 in the Florida Senate) and signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on March 29, 2022.[1]

The majority of the bill involves parental notification of changes in health services (including mental health), and makes clear that the parent(s) has the ultimate right to decide what services, if any, a child will be provided.

However, the most controversial part of the bill was Section 3, which prohibits public school classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity, in all cases involving students from kindergarten through third grade, as well as in any manner which is not age- or developmentally appropriate.[2] It is this section which has led to the bill being called an anti-grooming bill, but more frequently falsely called the Don't Say Gay Bill as it prevents teachers from educating students about homosexuality and gender identity behind parents' backs and with disregard to state standards.[3]

Not surprisingly, the legislation has provoked huge outrage from woke liberals, Hollywood and big corporations like Disney. In response to Disney's opposition of the bill, DeSantis has announced his support for repealing the special legislation which created the Reedy Creek Improvement District, giving Disney what amounts to self-governing status of Walt Disney World and the other resorts nearby.[4] He would later follow through on his promise, calling a special session of the Legislature[5] to repeal both that district (along with others created prior to a 1968 revision of the state's constitution) and legislation giving Disney a special exemption from a bill which would disallow censorship of social media platforms. That bill (Florida Senate Bill 4C) was passed by both chambers and signed on April 21, 2022.

The legislation has led to neighboring state Alabama passing a similar bill, which goes further than Florida as it prohibits such instruction through fifth grade.

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